Tuesday, May 27, 2008


This is a lovely board I found in one of the Indian Airports last year. But not sure why Dalai Lama and Robert Vadra have to fall into exceptional exemptions? Any rationale or good ole fancy?

Monday, May 05, 2008

NS Harsha wins Artes Mundi

It is sad that whenever one thinks of painting in India, one is forced to think either of the royal classics depicting the erstwhile durbars or dated fools like MF Husain passing on his senile tremors that helplessly sketches absurd nudes as some rare masterpieces.

I know I am harsh on Husain , but I think he deserves no better. I must say I quite like his early works and believe he should have retired long back.

Anyway that being not the point of the post, I want to share my joy on the occasion of one of my favourite conceptual artists in contemporary India, NS Harsha winning the prestigious Artes Mundi award recently. Amounting to £40000, the Artes Mundi award is one of highest cash-awards in contemporary art world- on par with the well known Turner Prize.

The unique feature in Harsha’s works is the ability to marry an authentic Indian experience to a narrative space and time which becomes the special niche of the painting. It is as if subject is crystallized into a realm of its own. This is most easily seen in his work Mass Marriage (below) which finds a strange sense of natural rhythm in an quintessential period-Indian ceremony that it almost seems to have an identity of artificiality.

Mass Marriage, NS Harsha

Also perhaps, for their shared interest in capturing a multiplicity of mass experience, like in Mass Marriage above, Harsha reminds me of Lowry. Here is a Lowry that shares quite a lot in common with Harsha.
Going to the Match, LS Lowry

Recognition of Harsha’s talent is also a vicarious nod to the terribly underrated MSU, Baroda where he studied art. Hope to see more enticing works from his brush.

PS: Here is video of Harsha explaining his simplistic a Footprint of time.